Most online training courses are in-house affairs or industry compliance sessions. So, how do you launch a certification online training course for an unfamiliar audience? In this article, I’ll share 6 tips to launch it successfully, and increase your sales stats.
How to launch a successful online certification training course
Launching any product is a challenge, but online corporate certifications are even trickier. They’re a blend of academic and professional qualifications, so it can be hard to combine them. You don’t want your advertising to be too mainstream, since that might steal from the seriousness of your course. On the other hand, if it sounds too bookish, you’ll lose your industry edge. Here are 6 tips to start a successful certification online training course that’s available to everyone.
1. Get a subject matter expert on board
Subject Matter Experts can help you identify the key takeaways and learner expectations. For example, what information are the learners looking for in order to achieve their goals? How will they apply their newfound skills in the real world to improve their performance?
In most cases, corporate learners are mainly interested in skill-building resources that focus on practicality instead of theory. Hiring an SME allows you to narrow down the content so that corporate learners get the essentials, which prevents cognitive overload and enhances engagement.
2. Offer ratification
There have been many incidents where a student attended a school for three or four years. Then, at graduation, they realized their school wasn’t chartered. That means their degree or diploma wasn’t valid. It wasn’t acceptable or recognized anywhere outside the school gates.
It happens with physical campuses, but it’s more frequent for online education centers. Demand for certifications is high, but this fear puts learners on edge. Reassure them by getting all your documentation in order. Display your legal compliance on all your platforms, from websites and apps to social media assets. It should be perfectly clear that your online training certification course is legal, valid, and that your certificates count as professional qualifications.
You can ask top companies to review your course and share their comments and testimonials. This proves they believe in it and are interested in your graduates.
3. Find the gaps in the current market
You don’t want to offer a certification for skills that are already flooding the market. For example, there are already 250 legitimate courses for communication skills. The secret is to explore fresh skillsets or come up with a unique angle, such as specific use cases for the skill.
For example, ‘persuasion skills for experienced pharmaceutical sales reps’. You are targeting a specific audience instead of offering a generic certification. Pharma sales reps automatically know that the content focuses on their professional background and objectives. Just make sure there’s a market for your certified course and that the gap actually needs to be filled.
4. Write a companion blog series to promote your course
In any line of business, published works offer credibility. Having your name or that of your organization credited in the byline is helpful. It improves your search engine ranking and can mark you as an authority in your chosen field.
Make sure the articles or blogs you write are relevant and high-quality. At the end of each blog post, you can leave a hint about your upcoming course. It could be as simple as ‘Learn more about interpersonal skills in the workplace in our upcoming course’. This makes a good teaser and builds anticipation. You could also invite readers to join a mailing list so they can get early access or discounts.
5. Host a virtual event
Your course launch could be a live event that is streamed, or it could be strictly in webinar format. During the launch, offer a live demo, showing guests interacting with it. The demo shouldn’t give too much away.
The rest of the event can focus on course benefits. Talk about the opportunities your certification presents, in terms of career progress. For example, mention the types of jobs available to your graduates, and the companies that are seeking them. Post updates, tweets, and video clips from your launch in real time, to generate more interest.
6. Use your email list to attract the right online learners
If you have a list of subscribers, you can market to them directly. The key is to divide the list into categories based on learner needs, goals, and gaps. For example, prospects who opted in via your ‘securing more sales in the digital era’ landing page may not be interested in your ‘interpersonal skills for HR managers’ certification course.
Some marketers suggest a week-long email plan, but this is likely to tire out your readers. They’ll probably unsubscribe on day three. Instead, send three emails in the run-up to launch. The first is a teaser, the second offers a course outline, and the third invites them to your launch. In each email, offer a discounted rating for pre-order, or for purchases up to a certain date. This builds up excitement and can give you an idea of how much interest there is.
Launching an online training certification course exposes your eLearning organization to a whole new audience. Just make sure your content is top notch and that your certification is recognized by your industry.
Do you want to learn more about the benefits of online training certification programs? Read here to discover why online training certificates are an additional asset to your online training course.